Japan’s most vocal pro-crypto MP has spoken out about his vision for Japan’s crypto regulation – and claims backing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could help create a new growth engine for cultural exports.
The comments came from Shun Otokita of the Japan Innovation Party, the third most-represented party in the Japanese lower house, the House of Councillors, in a video interview hosted by ConnecTV, where the MP claimed that NFTs could become a “weapon” in the battle to export Japanese gaming, manga, music and anime contents to overseas markets.
When asked how he thought governments should regulate the sector, he claimed that states should not seek to “impose excessive regulations” on NFT-related industries. But he also rejected the notion that Tokyo should in any way seek to bolster the sector with cash injections – and instead take a laissez-faire attitude.
He talked down the notion of “trying to promote” the NFT industry and “spending money” on it. “Instead,” Otokita opined, “I’d leave it alone – in a good way. The private sector is creative, so it is important not to get its way.”
The MP, who has taken Tokyo to task on several occasions in the House, grilling finance minister Tarō Asō on crypto tax policy and other blockchain-related matters, opined that when it comes to crypto: “I think it is important not to create regulations that get in the way [of progress].”
And he took a broader sweep at the nation’s regulatory approach to crypto and innovation-related industry.
“In Japan, pre-emptive regulation is the most common form of regulation, which [is designed to] prevent fraud. […] But there are many instances when [regulations get adjusted] after a problem occurs after trying to adopt technology overseas. I think the latter way of thinking is a better fit for blockchain technology [adoption].”
He concluded that while “consumer protection”-related issues “cannot be ignored,” he wanted to “propose a flexible approach to regulation” that promotes “freedom, at a certain level, while also fine-tuning problems.”
Otokita quizzed Aso on crypto regulatory matters in March this year, eliciting the response that crypto industry regulations are “necessary,” but should “consider the balance between innovation and user-protection.”
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